Chemical Properties Of Heavy Metals

1680 Words Oct 30th, 2016 7 Pages
Heavy metals, as its name suggests, are metals that have relatively high densities. However, based upon different standards, such as the density of the elemental form of the metal, atomic number, and chemical properties, the definition is not constantly defined and has been modified by various authors. But, generally, a density of more than 5 g/cm3 is a criterion often used to define heavy metals.

For humans, some of heavy metals are required by human bodies to realize specific biological processes. For example, iron and copper are used for oxygen and electron transport; nickel is important to cell growth; zinc can facilitate hydroxylation reactions in our bodies. Hence, these heavy metals are essential nutrients that are incorporated into specific purposes. Deficient supply of some trace elements may cause a number of diseases or syndromes.

Except the essential heavy metals which can exert biochemical psychological functions in plants and animals, there are many other heavy metal which can be harmful for animals and humans. Heavy metals are often regarded as trace metals because their presence in trace concentrations (ppb range to less than 10ppm). Their bioavailability is affected by physical factors such as temperature, phase association, adsorption, and sequestration. However, due to rarity of heavy metals existing on the earth, most human exposure to heavy metals come from human activities such as industrial production and agriculture use of…

More about Chemical Properties Of Heavy Metals

Open Document